This week, week I’d like to dispel a big mis misconception around American food. People often associate it with junk food and massive supersize portions, but they couldn’t be more wrong. When I travelled around the country back in 2009 I came across such a diverse range of delicious, honest food, from home-cooked classics to new and really innovative dishes, that I wrote an entire cookbook based on the amazing things I’d tried.
So with American Independence Day coming up on the 4th of July, I couldn’t be happier to have an excuse to celebrate the culture and cuisine of this beautiful country. I’ve asked the editor of my magazine, the brilliant Andy Harris, to give you a bunch of classic American desserts that I hope you’ll love as much as I do.
Key Lime Pie is a classic dessert from Florida — it’s traditionally made from Key limes, which are much smaller than the Persian varieties you find over here. Don’t worry: you don’t need to use Key limes to make yours taste scrumptiously good. Top with whipped double cream if you want proper, authentic results or simply grate some lime zest over for a dessert that’s a little lighter.
What could be more American than a slice of creamy, smooth, deliciously dense cheesecake? Try this baked version — it’s got a rich chocolatey base and an intense coffee caramel glaze that makes it seriously good (and a little bit naughty!).
Last up, these scone-like Strawberry Shortcakes are a great dessert for summer, when strawberries are at their best. With a classic strawberry and cream combo, wedged in between super-light and fluffy but rich shortcake, they’re real winners.
The Key Lime Pie and Coffee Cheesecake need to be chilled for at least 5 hours or overnight, so keep this in mind before you start. If you’ve got people coming round, they’re great desserts to make ahead – just add the finishing touches on the day.
If you don’t have espresso coffee for your cheesecake, you can always use 2tbsp of instant instead – it’ll work just as well.